By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleMay 31, 2012
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 31) -- The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Claims Office urges servicemembers and DoD civilians to take control of their permanent change of station moving day process.
The first step is to create a personal inventory of household goods the transportation service provider will move to the new home.
Gregory Hand, Claims Office chief, recommends those moving take digital photos and scan receipts to show proof ownership.
Hand suggests movers carry smaller items, such as jewelry or Family heirlooms, during the move because the items could be easily misplaced or stolen in a moving truck.
The inventory created by the TSP at pick-up should list the items identified by the mover in his or her personal inventory. The TSP's inventory may use notations, such as "SC" for scratch, to describe pre-existing damage to the mover's property.
A mover can ask the TSP where the preexisting damages are located.
If a mover disagrees with the TSP's assessment Hand said to write this at the bottom of the TSP's inventory before signing the document.
If necessary, movers can call the TSP's quality control office for assistance with handling disputes with the TSP.
"Generating unnecessary personal conflict is never helpful," Hand said. "To the extent that you can maintain peace with them while not surrendering your rights, that's the goal."
Hand suggests at least two people monitor the TSP transporting property into the new home. One person directs the TSP to where the household goods should be situated while the other person holds the original inventory list and makes note of any items that do not arrive or that appear to have been damaged during shipment.
"It's important that you stay in control," said Cheryl White, Claims Office claims examiner. "Educate yourself and make sure you understand how the process is supposed to go."
The TSP will have a notice of loss or damages form, such as a Department of Defense 1840 form, for the mover to report damage and loss of property at delivery.
Hand said movers should list the inventory number and item and describe the nature of damage or loss.
Note and list damage discovered after unpacking on the reverse side of the notice form.
The notice form, filled with all complaints, must be submitted to the TSP within 75 days of delivery. Submission of notice through the Defense Personal Property System (DPS), an online system, is preferred for DPS shipments; however, the mover may submit notice through the military claims office or mail the notice document directly to the TSP if online notice is not possible.
"The carrier has a great incentive to make sure that the shipment is good because under full replacement value if there is loss and damage they know that they're going be fully responsible," Hand said.
The DPS system requires Internet Explorer to run, which means Macintosh users must download the program to their computers, according to JPPSOWA's website.
Hand recommends movers contact the claims office with any difficulties within 70 days to allow the office time to meet the 75 day requirement.
Once the notice is submitted you have nine months from the date of delivery to submit a claim for the benefit of the full replacement value program.
Visit www.move.mil/home.htm to use the DPS system. Visit the Fort Belvoir OSJA Claims Web site at www.belvoir.army.mil/sja/newsite/claimMain.asp or contact the claims office at (703) 805-2315/4395 or for more information.